Reserve Bank Board minutes; Petrol prices

  • Reserve Bank Board minutes: The minutes from the April 4 Board meeting show that the Reserve Bank believes that the global economy is on a stronger footing. Importantly domestic inflation is estimated to have bottomed, removing the need for further rate cuts.
  • Petrol: According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average Australian price of unleaded petrol rose by 2 cents to 126.4 cents a litre in the past week. Over the prior fortnight the average petrol price fall by 5.7 cents a litre – the biggest fortnightly fall in eight months.
  • The national average wholesale (terminal gate) unleaded petrol price stands at 117.9 cents a litre, up by 6.3 cents a litre in the past three weeks.

The Reserve Bank Board minutes provides guidance on interest rate settings. The petrol figures have implications for retailers, especially petrol marketing groups.

What does it all mean?

The latest Reserve Bank Board minutes suggest that policymakers are more upbeat on the outlook for the global economy.  The Reserve Bank highlighted the “significant increase in the growth of global merchandise trade volumes” and in particular to benefit Australia.  Overall the tone of the statement was cautiously optimistic and with inflation expected to lift over 2017, it is unlikely that interest rates will be cut further.

Interestingly the minutes made reference to Cyclone Debbie and the potential negative impact in short-term economic growth and coal exports.  However the rebuilding efforts will provide a modest degree of support over the medium term.

As highlighted last week, petrol prices were set to lift after some sizeable falls.  In fact Sydney motorists had enjoyed falling petrol prices for around six weeks before the latest lift.  Unfortunately for motorists it is unlikely to end there.  Higher petrol prices are on the horizon.

Both the Singapore gasoline price and the local wholesale price have lifted over the past couple of weeks.  In fact the national average wholesale terminal gate unleaded petrol price stands at 117.9 cents a litre, up by 6.3 cents a litre in the past three weeks – a result that will filter through to pump prices in the coming weeks.

Petrol prices

  • According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average Australian price of unleaded petrol rose by 2 cents to 126.4 cents a litre in the past week. The metropolitan petrol price rose by 2.4 cents to 124.8 cents per litre while the regional price rose by 1.1 cents to 129.7 cents per litre.
  • Average unleaded petrol prices across states and territories over the past week were: Sydney (up by 15.2 cents to 133.4 c/l), Melbourne (down by 4.4 cents to 119.2 c/l), Brisbane (down by 2.7 cents to 122.8 c/l), Adelaide (up by 1.4 cents to 116.7 c/l), Perth (up by 1.1 cents to 125.1 c/l), Darwin (down by 0.3 cents to 131.5 c/l), Canberra (down by 0.2 cents to 130.1 c/l) and Hobart (down by 0.5 cents to 140.6 c/l).
  • The national average Australian price of diesel petrol was steady at 128.5 cents per litre in the week to April 16. The metropolitan price was unchanged at 128.3 c/l, while the regional average price was unchanged at 128.6 c/l.
  • The national average wholesale (terminal gate) unleaded petrol price stands at 117.9 cents a litre, up by 1.5 cents a litre over the week. The terminal gate diesel price stands at 114.9 cents a litre, up 1.9 cents a litre over the previous week.
  • Last week the key Singapore gasoline price fell by US35 cents or 0.5 per cent to US$68.90 a barrel. In Australian dollar terms the Singapore gasoline price fell by $1.26 a barrel or 1.4 per cent to $90.79 a barrel or 57.1 cents a litre.
  • MotorMouth records the following retail prices for capital cities today: Sydney 129.9c; Melbourne 117.7c; Brisbane 120.9c; Adelaide 117.3c; Perth 137.0c; Canberra 129.2c; Darwin 130.3c; Hobart 124.5c.

What is the importance of the economic data?

Weekly figures on petrol prices are compiled by ORIMA Research on behalf of the Australian Institute of Petroleum (AIP). National average retail prices are calculated as the weighted average of each State/Territory’s metropolitan and non-metropolitan retail petrol prices, with the weights based on the number of registered petrol vehicles in each of these regions.

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